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Profile: Tim O'Keefe (Georgia State University)
  1. Tim O'Keefe, Comments on Julia Annas, Platonic Ethics, Old and New.
    Critical examination of chapter 5 of Julia Annas' book _Platonic Ethics Old and New._ I first argue that she does not establish that Plato's ethics are independent of his metaphysics. I then suggest several ways in the content of his ethcis does depend on his metaphysics, with special attention paid to the discussion of the impact of theology on ethics in the _Laws_.
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  2. Tim O'Keefe, Why There Are No Fresh Starts in Metaphysics Epsilon or Nicomachean Ethics III 5.
    Metaphysics Epsilon 2-3 and Nicomachean Ethics III 5 (1114b3-25) are often cited in favor of indeterminist interpretations of Aristotle. In Metaphysics Epsilon Aristotle denies that the coincidental has an aitia, and some (e.g., Sorabji) take this as a denial that coincidences have causes. In NE III 5 Aristotle says a person's actions and character must have their origin (archê) in the agent for him to be responsible for them. From this, some conclude that Aristotle thinks a person can be the (...)
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  3. Tim O'Keefe (2013). Review of Ugo Zilioli, The Cyrenaics. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  4. Tim O'Keefe (2011). The Cyrenaics Vs. The Pyrrhonists on Knowledge of Appearances. In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), New Essays on Ancient Pyrrhonism. Brill. 126--27.
    In Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Sextus Empiricus takes pains to differentiate the skeptical way of life from other positions with which it is often confused, and in the course of this discussion he briefly explains how skepticism differs from Cyrenaicism. Surprisingly, Sextus does not mention an important apparent difference between the two. The Cyrenaics have a positive epistemic commitment--that we can apprehend our own feelings. Although we cannot know whether the honey is really sweet, we can know infallibly that right now (...)
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  5. Tim O'Keefe (2010). Epicureanism. Acumen Pub. Ltd..
    Introduction: The life of Epicurus and the history of epicureanism -- Part I: Metaphysics and physics -- Atoms and void -- Atomic motion -- Sensible qualities -- Cosmology -- Biology and language -- The mind -- Freedom and determinism -- Part II: Epistemology -- Skepticism -- The canon -- Part III: Ethics -- Pleasure, the highest good -- Varieties of pleasure, varieties of desire -- The virtues and philosophy -- Justice -- Friendship -- The gods -- Death.
     
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  6. Tim O'Keefe (2009). Action and Responsibility. In James Warren (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism. Cambridge University Press. 142.
  7. Tim O'Keefe, Anaxarchus. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Overview of the philosophy of this atomist, sophist, and compatriot of Pyrrho.
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  8. Tim O'Keefe (2006). Facing Death: Epicurus and His Critics, by James Warren. [REVIEW] Ancient Philosophy 26 (2):430-435.
  9. Tim O'Keefe (2005). Epicurus on Freedom. Cambridge University Press.
    In this book, Tim O'Keefe reconstructs the theory of freedom of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341-271/0 BCE). Epicurus' theory has attracted much interest, but our attempts to understand it have been hampered by reading it anachronistically as the discovery of the modern problem of free will and determinism. O'Keefe argues that the sort of freedom which Epicurus wanted to preserve is significantly different from the 'free will' which philosophers debate today, and that in its emphasis on rational action it (...)
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  10. Tim O'Keefe (2005). Lucretius. In Patricia O'Grady (ed.), Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece,.
    <span class='Hi'>Titus</span> Lucretius Carus was an ardent disciple of Epicurus and the author of the De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), one of the greatest poems in Latin. Other than his approximate dates of birth and death, we have next to no reliable information about him. (St. Jerome's report, in the 4th Century AD, that Lucretius was driven insane by a love potion and composed the De Rerum Natura in the lucid intervals between bouts of madness has been (...)
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  11. Tim O'Keefe (2003). Lucretius on Atomic Motion. [REVIEW] Ancient Philosophy 23 (2):461-468.
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  12. Tim O'Keefe (2003). Lucretius on the Cycle of Life and the Fear of Death. Apeiron 36 (1):43 - 65.
    In De Rerum Natura III 963-971, Lucretius argues that death should not be feared because it is a necessary part of the natural cycle of life and death. This argument has received little philosophical attention, except by Martha Nussbaum, who asserts it is quite strong. However, Nussbaum's view is unsustainable, and I offer my own reading. I agree with Nussbaum that, as she construes it, the cycle of life argument is quite distinct from the better-known Epicurean arguments: not only does (...)
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  13. Tim O'Keefe (2003). Review of James Warren, Epicurus and Democritean Ethics: An Archaeology of Ataraxia. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (5).
    Epicurus’ debt to Democritus’ metaphysics is obvious. Even where Epicurus feels the need to modify Democritus’ metaphysics because of its skeptical or fatalist implications, he is working within Democritus’ general framework. The situation is quite different in ethics. Ancient critics of Epicurus claim that the Cyrenaics’ hedonism is the inspiration for his ethics, and in modern times, Epicurus’ ethics is usually viewed in the context of Aristotle’s eudaimonism.
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  14. Tim O'Keefe & Harald Thorsrud (2003). Aristotle's 'Cosmic Nose' Argument for the Uniqueness of the World. Apeiron 36 (4):311 - 326.
    David Furley's work on the cosmologies of classical antiquity is structured around what he calls "two pictures of the world." The first picture, defended by both Plato and Aristotle, portrays the universe, or all that there is (to pan), as identical with our particular ordered world-system. Thus, the adherents of this view claim that the universe is finite and unique. The second system, defended by Leucippus and Democritus, portrays an infinite universe within which our particular kosmos is only one of (...)
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  15. Tim O'Keefe (2002). The Cyrenaics on Pleasure, Happiness, and Future-Concern. Phronesis 47 (4):395-416.
    The Cyrenaics assert that (1) particular pleasure is the highest good, and happiness is valued not for its own sake, but only for the sake of the particular pleasures that compose it; (2) we should not forego present pleasures for the sake of obtaining greater pleasure in the future. Their anti-eudaimonism and lack of future-concern do not follow from their hedonism. So why do they assert (1) and (2)? After reviewing and criticizing the proposals put forward by Annas, Irwin and (...)
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  16. Tim O'Keefe (2002). The Reductionist and Compatibilist Argument of Epicurus' On Nature, Book 25. Phronesis 47 (2):153-186.
    Epicurus' "On Nature" 25 is the key text for anti-reductionist interpretations of Epicurus' philosophy of mind. In it, Epicurus is trying to argue against those, like Democritus, who say that everything occurs 'of necessity,' and in the course of this argument, he says many things that appear to conflict with an Identity Theory of Mind and with causal determinism. In this paper, I engage in a close reading of this text in order to show that it does not contain any (...)
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  17. Tim O'Keefe, Aristippus. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Brief article on this hedonist, follower of Socrates, and founder of the Cyrenaic school.
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  18. Tim O'Keefe, Cyrenaics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  19. Tim O'Keefe, Epicurus. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  20. Tim O'Keefe (2001). Is Epicurean Friendship Altruistic? Apeiron 34 (4):269 - 305.
    Epicurus is strongly committed to psychological and ethical egoism and hedonism. However, these commitments do not square easily with many of the claims made by Epicureans about friendship: for instance, that the wise man will sometimes die for his friend, that the wise man will love his friend as much as himself, feel exactly the same toward his friend as toward himself, and exert himself as much for his friend's pleasure as for his own, and that every friendship is worth (...)
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  21. Tim O'Keefe (2001). Would a Community of Wise Epicureans Be Just? Ancient Philosophy 21 (1):133-146.
    I begin by considering an argument for why there would not be justice in a community of wise Epicureans: justice only exists where there is an agreement "neither to harm nor be harmed," and such an agreement would be superfluous in a community of wise Epicureans, since they would have no vain desires which would lead them to wish to harm one another. I argue that, if the 'justice contract' prohibits only direct harm of one person by another, then it (...)
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  22. Tim O'Keefe (1997). The Ontological Status of Sensible Qualities for Democritus and Epicurus. Ancient Philosophy 17 (1):119-134.
    One striking oddity about Democritus and Epicurus is that, even though Epicurus' theory of perception is largely the same as that of Democritus, Democritus and his followers draw skeptical conclusions from this theory of perception, whereas Epicurus declares that all perceptions are true or real. I believe that the dispute between Democritus and Epicurus stems from a question over what sort of ontological status should be assigned to sensible qualities. In this paper, I address three questions: 1) Why were Democritus (...)
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  23. Gail Fine, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Verity Harte, Tim O'Keefe, Tad Brennan, T. H. Irwin & Bob Sharples (1996). Brill Online Books and Journals. Phronesis 41 (3).
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  24. Tim O'Keefe (1996). Does Epicurus Need the Swerve as an Archê of Collisions? Phronesis 41 (3):305-317.
    The 'swerve' is not supposed to provide a temporal 'starting point' (archê) of collisions, since Epicurus thinks that there is no temporal starting-point of collisions. Instead, the swerve is supposed to provide an explanatory archê of collisions. In positing the swerve, Epicurus is responding to Aristotle's criticisms of Democritus' theory of motion.
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